Fukudome has left knee sprain, done for season?

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Some injury news out of Chicago.  Or San Diego, really.

Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome was scratched from Thursday’s lineup against the Padres due to a mild left knee sprain that he suffered Wednesday while stealing third base.

The injury doesn’t sound overly serious, and shouldn’t affect him at all long-term, but there is a chance that the 33-year-old won’t return this season.

The Cubs are expected to shop Fukudome this winter because of the $13.5 million that he’s owed in 2011 and his poor performance at the plate over the last two-and-a-half seasons.  With all things considered, they might have trouble finding a deal.

Fukudome has turned in a .263/.371/.439 batting line, 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 358 at-bats this season.  He swiped seven bases but was caught eight times and is just a .259/.368/.410 career hitter.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.